An unprecedented all-exhibition industry summit meeting involving 27 representatives of 16 associations met at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas, on October 6, 2011.
The objectives of the organizers, the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), included:
-Bringing volunteer leaders of key industry organizations together in order to promote long-lasting and meaningful inter-organizational communications.
-Exploring current business processes so that all parties clearly understand each other’s internal practices in an attempt to dispel incorrect assumptions.
-Seeking new opportunities for joint action to address issues that can enhance the exhibition experience for exhibitors and attendees.
-Laying a foundation for continuing dialogue.
“It looks like we accomplished important progress on each of our objectives based upon the comments that I heard at the end of the day,” said Chuck Grouzard, ESCA president and senior vice president of national sales at Global Experience Specialists (GES). “When asked to describe the experience using only one word what we heard was ‘collaborative, intriguing, consensus, dynamic, interesting, enlightening, exploring, and bold’ to share just a few.”
“There were clearly significantly different points of view exchanged during the day, but we also found a lot of common ground and the basis for creating some innovative solutions going forward,” said Vinnie Polito, chairman of IAEE and managing mirector of VP International. “I would say almost everyone in attendance seemed encouraged and motivated to continue our work together when the day ended.”
The group identified five key actions that were thought essential to improve and grow the exhibition industry through their collaboration:
Continue the dialogue and commitment
Advocate on behalf of the industry
Build industry understanding
Explore & develop recommended industry standards
“The real value of this event is to recognize that all of us, no matter whether we are event organizers, facility management, general service contractors, exhibit designers and producers, organized labor, event marketers or exhibitor appointed contractors, live in the same very connected eco-system,” Said Sean Guerre, chairman of SISO, president/CEO of Access Intelligence LLC. “We owe each other the obligation of support and cooperation. This Summit opens new doors in that regard and that is very exciting and promising for the entire exhibition industry.”
The group agreed to meet again to continue its work. A date and site are now being investigated. IAEE has agreed to host a social gathering of the group on Wednesday, December 8, 2011, during its annual event, Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas.
Those attending the Summit included:
American Business Media (ABM)
United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America
Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
David Audrain, CEM
Carrie Freeman Parsons
Computer Event Marketers Association (CEMA)
Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA)
Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA)
Exhibitor Appointed Contractors Association (EACA)
Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA)
International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
Megan Tanel, CEM
International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM)
International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing (ICEEM)
Doreen Biela, CEM
Mike Lynn, CME, CMM, CMP, CEM, CPC
International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA)
Major American Tradeshow Organizers (MATSO)
Jennifer Hoff, CEM
National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS)
Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO)
Tradeshow Exhibitors Association (TSEA)